I address the heart and the mind together. Just as virtues emanate from spiritual awareness, addressing the mind with realities may be a way to awaken the soul. And because I found that Giving is the basis of virtues, I say: I entered Dar Al Atta’a Association and found financial statements without secret books, this is called “Transparency”, and I found an administrative system including departments and sections and a board of directors governed by laws and legislations, and audited accounts, this is called “Governance”.
Why should a charitable association hold a seminar on governance? Because it wants to achieve sustainability and wishes to give an example to other associations about its organisation and transparency, providing a guide for the mechanisms of developing systems and internal control of the work of NGOs.
The professionalism of Dar Al Atta’a Association has made it an umbrella for four volunteer teams, notably the “Sawa Nabni” (together we build) team, which benefited 179 families in 2017 through the efforts of its 179 volunteers.
My husband told me that charitable work is the most beautiful thing you can spend your time doing it. Therefore, I went to Dar Al Atta’a Association not knowing what I can offer, and I was welcomed in a way that pushed me to Give. I wanted to get to the field and keep away from the headache of economic strategies and plans, international reports and scientific terms that suggest importance while it is just an attempt to describe the scientific foundations of the ancient civilisation of the Romans.
What can a person offer as donation other than giving money? I discovered that giving money is the easiest way of donation, but if it is not given with kindness and respect, it may indicate arrogance. Good doing has rules and principles that are known only to a heart that understands that the one who gives is the one who benefits more than the needy people themselves. I started work by trying to understand the work of consultants, and then I started with the members of the board of directors and then made individual interviews with all the departments. I viewed the sections of accounting, information, marketing, house maintenance and building and families. I evaluated the progress of work and read the reports so that I can pay the Zakat of my knowledge.
A rich experience! It is neither a governmental nor a commercial institution. Its founders spare no effort to attract funds to empower families based on the principle of self-reliance and confidence in capabilities. It is donation that does not produce dependency, because easy money corrupts both the rich and the poor.
This experience has added to me new information, new field expertise and new horizons. If you know how much you gain from taking the volunteering initiative, you would not have stayed at home awaiting a job opportunity.
The budget of Dar Al Atta’a Association for 2017 – according to its annual report – is one million, two hundred and ninety two thousand rials (OMR1,292,784), which is the proceeds of great efforts, but it is too small to make a quantum leap to enable families and is smaller than our ability to donate.
Six women succeeded in establishing this association, breaking several stereotypes of philanthropy and giving a good example during a 16-year march. I stood impressed in front of their dedication and their continuous hard work. I realised how you can turn your relationships and contacts into a means to help the needy people. You may think that fashion shows and charity dinner parties are just luxury, but in fact this is a smart way to attract more money to help the list of those waiting for the hand of mercy and charity.
In front of this transparency, which is represented in audited financial accounts and clear sections for donation including Zakat, clothing, charity, building houses, and scholarships, one knows well that their money is spent in a correct manner, so you can be assured that it went to those who deserve it after the family department conducts a field study for the needy families in cooperation with concerned bodies including social development departments, women associations and offices of Walis. Today, there are 30 charity associations and foundations. I would be grateful if I have the opportunity to Give in a professional manner.
Imagine if everyone contributes to the success of Dar Al Atta’a campaign, “One Rial Shows that you Care”, there would have been no waiting lists today.
Dar Al Atta’a website: http://www.daralatta.org
This website is endowed for Dar AlAtta’a Charity (supervised by the Ministry of Social Deveoplment), thus your donations will help to fund the charity activities.